The multidisciplinary design problem as a dynamical system
Steinfeldt, Bradley Alexander
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A general multidisciplinary design problem features coupling and feedback between contributing analyses. This feedback may lead to convergence issues requiring significant iteration in order to obtain a feasible design. This work casts the multidisciplinary design problem as a dynamical system in order to leverage the benefits of dynamical systems theory in a new domain. Three areas from dynamical system theory are chosen for investigation: stability analysis, optimal control, and estimation theory. Stability analysis is used to investigate the existence of a solution to the design problem and how that solution can be found. Optimal control techniques allow consideration of contributing analysis output and design variables constraints at the same level of the optimization hierarchy. Finally, estimation methods are employed to rapidly evaluate the robustness of the multidisciplinary design. These three dynamical system techniques are then combined in a methodology for the rapid robust design of linear multidisciplinary systems. While inherently linear, the developed robust design methodology is shown to be extensible to nonlinear systems. The applicability and performance of the developed technique is demonstrated through linear and nonlinear test problems including the design of a hypersonic aerodynamic surface for a system in which an increase in range or improvement in landed accuracy is sought. In addition, it is shown that the developed robust design methodology scales well compared to other methods.